Border Patrol finds $113K worth of fentanyl in fake engine compartment

Border Report

Border agents say they found over $100,000 worth of fentanyl in this compartment under the hood of a car that stopped at a USBP checkpoint. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol)

SAN DIEGO — Border Patrol arrested a man and woman this week accused of trying to smuggle bundles of fentanyl in their car’s engine compartment.

The bust happened Tuesday around 12:30 p.m., when a man driving an Audi sedan pulled up to a checkpoint on Interstate 8 near Pine Valley, USBP said.

A drug-sniffing dog took interest in the vehicle, and agents pulled the driver and his passenger — a woman — into a secondary inspection area. Agents gave the car a more thorough search, finding two wrapped packages of drugs inside a false compartment under the hood, agents said.

“The two packages, weighing 9.97 pounds, tested positive for fentanyl,” USBP said in a news release. “They have an estimated street value of $113,000.”

The man and the woman — both American citizens in their late 20s — were turned over to the DEA along with the drugs, according to Border Patrol.

“During these uncertain and troubling times, our agents remain vigilant against all criminal activity,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron M. Heitke wrote in the release. “Thanks to the professionalism and dedication of our agents on the frontline, this dangerous drug will not reach any community in our country.” 

The bust adds to more than 111 pounds of fentanyl by Border Patrol in San Diego since Oct. 1, 2019, according to the agency.  That makes up about half of all fentanyl seizures along the southwestern border in that time period.

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